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Tuesday, 2 June 2020

"The nation state has no future standing alone" (Angela Merkel)

Recently, the German chancellor declared: "The nation state has no future standing alone". If that assumption is valid then I accept her "Franco-German plan for European recovery" (Guardian).

Historian Niall Ferguson reached a different conclusion in Nikkei Asian Review: "[] in a [corona] crisis like this, there are "diseconomies" of scale. Small is beautiful in a pandemic". For his entire (and recommended) interview, please see Sunday's blog.

From a semantic view, the above argument is nonsense. Any country is ultimately a nation state, even large countries like China, Russia and USA. Moreover, China promotes similar cultural values, and objects to cultural differences (eg, language, religion).

From a historical view, her argument also does not hold. My 2016 blog, Small is beautiful - the Rise and Fall of nations (3), addresses several small successful standalone nations.

From an organisational view, size adds to complexity. Merging complex and/or complicated entities makes matters even worse.

From a cultural view, Europe does not qualify for a Federation as the 27 EU members have 24 different languages. Opting for a joint English language is unrealistic given the pride - or vanity - of some EU members.

After WWII, several EU pioneers (Wiki) argued that European integration was the best guarantee against war. It's safe to say that they were right. However, increasingly, the EU is facing a war of words: EU vs Poland, EU vs Hungary, EU-north vs EU-south, EU-27 vs UK, and so on.

The only reason for our status quo is money. From a formal and/or legal perspective, the EU is not a Federation of states. De facto, the EU is a transfer union (eg, FD-1, FD-2, Politico-2011, Reuters-2020Vox-2020). A transfer union is about redistributing wealth from rich to poor countries.

Finally, the integrity of the Federation of the United States of America is currently being tested as its 45th President threatens not to bail-out large, populated, rich and "blue" states, which contributed most of the tax dollars. Also see last Saturday's blog: Blue-state coronavirus bailouts are unfair to Republicans, Trump says.

"The nation state has no future standing alone" is an opinion, not a fact. A fact-checker might qualify this opinion as "unproven" - or worse.

I Stand Alone (2017) by Steve Perry
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

I know the sound of each rock and stone
I embrace what others fear
You are not to roam in this forgotten place
Just the likes of me are welcome here


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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